RealNews

Good Marks for Rank and File Who Responded to Attacks

Despite major lapses in command and control, lower-level personnel generally rose to the challenge posed by the Sept. 11 hijackings, taking creative and decisive action to confront a crisis for which they were not trained, investigators looking into the attacks reported Thursday. In pointed remarks, the staff of the Sept. 11 commission dismissed a prevailing view that slow-moving or inattentive controllers and military personnel were largely responsible for the federal government’s halting response on the morning of the attacks. The report suggested instead that the problems, which one commissioner called “glitches in command and control,” were organizational or involved more senior officials. “We do not believe that an accurate understanding of the events of this morning reflects discredit on the operational personnel from Neads or F.A.A. facilities,” the report said, referring to controllers at the North East Air Defense Sector and the Federal Aviation Administration. “The Neads commanders and floor officers were proactive in seeking information, and made the best judgments they could based on the information they received.” Full Story

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